Participant(s): Dilara Kazimova Song: Start A Fire Writer(s): Stefan Örn, Johan Kronlund, Alessandra Günthardt Composer(s): Stefan Örn, Johan Kronlund, Alessandra Günthardt Start position: #08 (first semi final)
Since the debut in 2009, Azerbaijan has developed as one of the strongest ESC countries recently. Azerbaijan always qualified for the final and made a Top 10 placing including one victory “Running Scared” by Ell & Nikki in 2011 and a great 2nd place last year in Malmö with “Hold Me” by Farid Mammadov.
There has been a qualification show occn Azeri TV called “Böyük Səhnə” where the singers first qualified and the finalist was crowned, the song was announced later. Azerbaijan is going to be represented by Dilara Kazimova with the song “Start A Fire”, which has been composed by no less than Stefan Örn, a Swedish composer who has written three successful songs for Azerbaijan, including the winning entry “Running Scared”.
Dilara is a 29 years old singer and actress, born in Baku. She has been studying vocal arts and graduated as an opera singer. In her musical career she tried several music styles, also with Azeri folk music influences. Dilara joined the rock band Unformal, with whom she made her first ESC experiences; she came 2nd in the national final in 2008. With another band Milk & Kisses she made another 2nd place in 2010 in the Azeri selection show “Böyük Səhnə”. As an actress she also starred in two Azerbaijani films as well “Try Not to Breathe” and “Puragtory", where she also contributed the soundtrack.
The Azeri entry “Start A Fire” is a smooth and gentle song with some Mugam elements and a great finish. Such a song will perfectly fit in an international contest. Calm piano sound with orchestral arrangement and a dramatic end. The beautiful singer with an extraordinary voice sung full of passion and dedication could make a top position again.
This is the 7th time only since Azerbaijan is participating in the Eurovision Song Contest. The debut entry was “Day after Day” by Elnur & Samir in 2008 in Belgrade and reached a respectable 8th place. From that year on Azerbaijan took part every year and shaped up very well. Since the debut Azerbaijan always made a Top 10 placing in the Grand Final! The Azerbaijani entries were not that exotic like from the Caucasian neighbour countries, there were mainly contemporary music styles used, only “When The Music Dies” by Sabina Babayeva had the typical Azerbaijani music influence in it, which is called “Mugam”. This brought the host entry to a very special glance and has been highly appreciated with many votes. There were also international composers committed for Azerbaijan. These were the most successful songs: “Always” by AySel & Arash in 2009 (3rd), “Drip Drop” by Safura in 2010 (5th), “When The Music Dies” by Sabina Babayeva (4th) and of course the winning entry from 2011 “Running scared“ by Ell & Nikki (1st).
After the great victory of Ell & Nikki, Baku has hosted the ESC 2012 in a wonderful way. The impressive Crystal Hall and the greatly illuminated city of Baku have surprised the visitors and watchers of the ESC, which will remain in good memories.